DP Challenge: The Whole Nine Yards

A couple of weeks earlier, at the behest of our mothers, my husband and I performed a special ceremony at home. The priest who was going to guide us ,came home a couple of days earlier to brief us about the requirements, items to be bought and do’s and don’ts. As he was leaving, he looked disdainfully at the jeans I was wearing, just as a parent would look at a child who had brought home a ‘C’ grade. And then exclaimed, “You should wear a saree for the occasion.” I was miffed! I always wore a saree for special occasions. Incensed by the remark, it was then I decided to go the whole nine yards. Literally!

The nine yard saree, worn by Queens in days bygone and by women up to my grandmother’s generation, was now relegated to weddings (usually just the bride) and religious ceremonies. Few of my mother’s generations know how to wear it, let alone mine! Just as writers had advanced from the quill to the fountain pen to ball point pen and now the keyboard, women in India had advanced from the nine yard saree to six yard saree to salwar khameez to jeans.

It was a long and unwieldy garment. But I was determined to wear it, and not only that, I also decided to learn how to drape it. It was rather cumbersome to drape, with many tucks and folds, requiring a good amount of bending, twisting and turning. I almost broke into a sweat as if I had a gym workout! I fumbled the first time, but got it right on the second attempt. I looked at myself in the mirror; I felt like a stuffed doll, yet there was a subtle elegance to it, the way the cloth ravelled around, it enhanced the curves and enticed the senses!

Though priest wasn’t impressed,  I managed to recieve a few appreciative comments from relatives. The success inspired me to pen an ode to the ‘Nine yard saree’!

A fabric of nine yards

As Lustrous as the stars

Like sheen of a rose

Sometimes apricot with gold

Your tradition began in

The land of yore.

Adorned by Laxmi

the warrior Queen of Jhansi,

With yardage billowing ,

Like a bolt of lightning

she rode to glory

protecting her territory.

Raja Ravi Varma

In a World of Bohemia,

his muses draped

in velvety regalia;

Voluptuous and coy,

A graceful sight!

Sensuous as night.

You were my grandmother’s livery

Together with finery

Exquisite as dreams,

But now replaced by

modern seams,

You’re just a part of a

bride’s trousseau

Not haute couture

Now Obscure and old

yours is a

story untold.

The Daily Post’s Weekly Writing challenge theme for this week is to use metaphor and Simile.


14 thoughts on “DP Challenge: The Whole Nine Yards

    1. Perhaps you’re right :-)! But both my grandmothers also wore it every single day of their lives, until they were too old and lacked the energy to drape it!

    1. Thanks! i contemplated on posting a pic of myself, but found that first image much better! It is a pretty odiyanam, another thing that’s rarely used these days!:-)

  1. I really enjoyed this and it looks so pretty! Why was the priest not impressed? If for nothing other than dedication and effort he should have been impressed!

    1. Thanks! It is very pretty when worn the right way- which is tough to get! I think he wasn’t impressed because the women in his family wear it everyday, so it wasn’t unusual for him!
      Thanks for stopping by!

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